"The Clock Strikes: "The Story of Pug Brady"": Brian O'Brien helps out a jobless man, "Pug" Brady, who tried to steal Brian's watch. Pug was an ex-heavyweight boxing champ and ex-All-American fullback, and his life was screwed up due to having killed a guy in self-defense. Pug followed the Cloc
Appearing in The Clock Strikes: "The Story of Pug Brady"
- Pat "Pug" Brady (First appearance)
- The Big Shot (Mayor Kozer)
- Butch, former bent cop (Dies)
- other thugs
- District Attorney John Dooly (Dies)
- Officer Casey
- Miss Dooly
- Captain Kane
Synopsis for The Clock Strikes: "The Story of Pug Brady"
Brian O'Brien helps out a jobless man, "Pug" Brady, who tried to steal Brian's watch. Pug was an ex-heavyweight boxing champ and ex-All-American fullback, and his life was screwed up due to having killed a guy in self-defense. Pug followed the Clock, on a case, and freed him when he was captured, but once again, Pug wound up killing the Clock's attacker; O'Brien moved to cover it up. Brady and O'Brien turn out to be near-lookalikes. The two continue their partnership and go after the crime boss, the Big Shot, who is secretly the Mayor.
Appearing in "Jane Arden // Lena Pry"
- Jane Arden (across top halves of pages)
- Lena Pry (across bottom halves of pages)
Synopsis for "Jane Arden // Lena Pry"
(newspaper strip reprints)
Appearing in The Space Legion: "Introducing Rock Braddon"
- Rock Braddon (First appearance)
- Space Legion
- Harg, the Space Pirate
- his crew
- Captain Graves (Dies)
- his crew (Dies)
- Visaplate, a long-range viewing device, used in cargo spaceships
- Electro-Scanner, a long-range detection device, used in military spaceships
- electronic stun ray, all sizes
- cargo Space Ship "Nova"
- Harg's Space Ship "Titan"
- Space Legion Ship "Mercury"
Synopsis for The Space Legion: "Introducing Rock Braddon"
Harg the Space Pirate hijacks a shipment of radium and massacres the crew of the cargo spaceship that carried it. Arriving too late, the Space Legion's ship "Mercury" arrives, with Rock Braddon in command. The Mercury's instruments detect Harg's ship, the "Titan", on course toward the Earth's Moon. The Titan is observed flying into an opening on the Moon's surface; his once-hidden base is now discovered! Harg is furious, and deploys two smaller fighting ships to attack the Mercury. Space Legion ray-gunnery prevails, and both of these are destroyed, but meantime Harg and his crew have escaped into a Lunar mountain. Braddon is reluctant to destroy the mountain, and leads a space-suit-wearing landing party onto the Lunar surface and below it, down a long tunnel into a great cavern. One crewman is killed by a boobytrap, and the crew of pirates swarms in to attack the Legion. There's a ray-gun shoot-out, which Harg ends by throwing an atomic grenade into the midst of it, killing almost everybody, on both sides. Rock Braddon survives, and pursues Harg on foot. Harg almost makes it to his spaceship, but pauses to take a shot at Braddon, misses, and is shot dead.
Appearing in Alias the Spider: "The Sign of the Cricket"
- Spider (First appearance)
- Cricket (Dies)
- the Cricket's gang
- New York City
- Empire Life Insurance Building
- 510 Spring Street
- Lebson's Department Store
- The Spider's trademark weapon was an arrow that burst into flame upon shooting, and which bore a scarab-like tip that embedded into its target.
Synopsis for Alias the Spider: "The Sign of the Cricket"
Organized crime is running rampant in the big city, and the extremely dangerous Cricket Mob is behind it. At the archery range of his fashionable sportsman's club, Tom Hallaway reads about this giant crime-wave, and decides to do something about it. But no sooner is he driving away in his open roadster than a big sedan swerves up close to it, and a package is tossed into his car. Hallaway immediately hurls it into the nearby river, where it explodes! Then he pursues the roadster as it speeds out of town, and changes his clothes as he does so. When he gets close enough, the Spider stands and shoots over his windshield, sending a flaming arrow into the fleeing sedan, causing it to veer off the road, drop off the embankment, crash, and burn. Hallaway salvages a clue from the wreckage, interprets it, and speeds away to the Empire Life Insurance Building. There he finds a lurking henchman, jumps him, grabs a written clue from him and tries to extract the Cricket's real identity from him, but of course he doesn't know. He spills his instructions, which are to deliver a package to a particular address, by one o'clock, but his squealing is interrupted by the noisy arrival of a big car with a bright spotlight and a loud machinegun, which kills the squealer and narrowly misses the Spider. Spider counters with a volley of arrows that cause this car to wreck, plus kills the occupants.
The Spider learns of a planned robbery at a department store, phones in a tip to the cops, then races to the store to participate in the shoot-out. He inflicts some amount of damage on the Crickets, then leaves as the main force of police arrives. He follows his earlier clue to 510 Spring Street, right beside the river. This turns out to be a trap, where he drops thru a trapdoor into a basement, and at last is face to face with the smirking, well-armed Cricket. The Spider moves way more quickly than the Cricket is expecting, closes the distance between them, punches the Cricket half silly, sends him stumbling out thru a breaking window, to fall into the river, sink, and not resurface.
Appearing in Wizard Wells: "Too Hot to Hold"
- Wizard Wells, the Miracle Man of Science (First appearance)
- "Black" Morda
- protection racketeers, at least 7
- Mr. Perry, record store manager
- Mary Perry
Synopsis for Wizard Wells: "Too Hot to Hold"
Wizard and Tug happen upon a protection racket beatdown at a record store, and there's a brief inconclusive fight before the gangsters get away in a car. The store manager's daughter, Mary Perry, tells Wells that racketeer "Black" Morda is behind it, and he's been threatening her too. Wizard plans a trap, and with Tug's help he rigs up the record store with phosphorescent paint, an ultraviolet lamp, a microphone, and a radio speaker. When a thug comes to shake down Mary, Wells creates the illusion that the thug's shadow has been frozen in place, and along with it a piece of the thug's life! This moron falls for that and runs away yelling.
Wells and Tug then get a list of 20 other stores to rig up for the same stunt, and Tug spends the next 3 days setting them up. Then for a while, all across the city, one superstitious idiot gunman after another flees from one small business after another. Their boss Black Morda is infuriated, and rails at his thugs. Meanwhile Wells and Tug set up Perry's record store for a new prank, and when Morda makes his expected visit, he gets a big surprise. The stuffy scientist abruptly yanks Morda's hat down over his eyes, and he responds by reaching for a pistol, but the metal gun is too hot to hold and he drops it, tries again with a second gun and drops that one too, then gets booted out of the store by former linebacker Wells. You see, Wizard Wells had set up a short-wave transmitter behind the store's counter, which heated all the metal nearby.
At this episode's end, Black Morda is unarrested and at large.
Appearing in "Molly the Model"
- Molly the Model (First appearance)
- Mr. Maloney
Synopsis for "Molly the Model"
- Synopsis not yet written.
Appearing in "Ned Brant"
- Ned Brant
Synopsis for "Ned Brant"
(newspaper strip reprints)
Appearing in Lee Preston of the Red Cross: "Lee Gets Her Wings"
- Lee Preston (First appearance)
- Rick Royce
- Jeff Dickers
- his scrawny family
- Mississippi River
- U.S. Army biplane w/ wheels
- Red Cross cargo plane w/ pontoons
Synopsis for Lee Preston of the Red Cross: "Lee Gets Her Wings"
Farm girl Lee Preston meets aviator Rick Royce and decides to learn to fly, so she applies for a license at the Civil Aeronautics Bureau. For the next several months she studies and trains and practices in all types of aircraft. She gets a job with the Red Cross, shuttling emergency supplies to disaster scenes. Amid a storm she has a near-collision with an Army plane, which then is struck by lightning. Both planes land on the flooding Mississippi River, but the Army plane has conventional landing gear and sinks. It turns out to be piloted by Lieutenant Rick Royce, whom Lee is able to rescue with her amphibian plane. It proves more difficult to rescue flood-stranded farmer Jeff Dickers, who is insane and well-armed and does not want to fly in an "airyplane". Lee outmaneuvers the old coot and konks him unconscious with a moonshine jug, then flies him and his family to safety. The next morning Rick asks Lee out to dinner and she says yes.
Appearing in The Red Torpedo: "Origin of the Red Torpedo"
- Red Torpedo (First appearance) (Origin)
- Meg, Jim's fiancee
- Captain Wells
- Red Torpedo's Marinograph, a long-range viewing device
Synopsis for The Red Torpedo: "Origin of the Red Torpedo"
U.S.Naval officer Jim Lockhart designs a truly amazing warship: a one-man, high-speed, deep-diving, seemingly-indestructable “torpedo” with astounding capabilities. His superior officer, Captain Wells, deems the whole idea “just too fantastic” and kiboshes the project. Lockhart resigns his commission over this, and with his fiancée Meg, he goes to work in his secret workshop on a remote cove.
Meanwhile almost everywhere else, World War II has really gotten going. The still-neutral USA sends a relief ship to Europe, to bring some 5,000 refugee children to America. Hitler decides this is a great opportunity to provoke the Americans into entering the war, by sinking the relief ship. (It’s not clear why he wants to add an extra enemy to the other side in this war, but there it is, his newest brilliant plan.) U-079 and another submarine are dispatched to sink the relief ship.
At sea, the Red Torpedo encounters the relief ship, and using his “Marinograph,” is able to see that it is packed with refugees. The two enemy subs arrive, and one releases a mine while the second one surfaces and deploys its deck gun. The amazingly maneuverable Red Torpedo intercepts the mine by snagging the mine’s trailing cable on the Torpedo’s spinning prow, then flipping it back onto its own submarine, to fatal effect. The tiny craft then surrounds the surfaced U-boat with a smoke screen, so the sub commander gives up on using gunnery, dives his boat, and shoots a torpedo. The Red Torpedo detonates the speeding (conventional) torpedo with machinegun fire, then pursues the sub, rams it, and sends it to the bottom. The Red Torpedo then accompanies the relief ship until it meets up with a protective convoy.
Meanwhile in Washington DC, at the Navy Club, Captain Wells may finally be getting an inkling of what and who the Red Torpedo is.
Appearing in Madam Fatal: "Origin of Madam Fatal"
- Madam Fatal (First appearance) (Origin)
- Hamlet (parrot) (First appearance)
- John Carver (Dies)
- Reeves, his driver
- Mike, a thug
- Lou, a thug
- Sarah, Madam's neighbor
- Johnny, Madam's neighbor
- Officer Clancy (Mentioned only)
- Benson Building (Carver's office)
- 410 Elm Drive (Carver's mansion)
Synopsis for Madam Fatal: "Origin of Madam Fatal"
Madam Fatal's neighbor Sarah gets home-invaded by two thugs from John Carver's protection racket gang, during a visit from Mme. Fatal. (Apparently Sarah only knows Stanton by his fake identity.) Using bare fists and a stout walking stick, Madam Fatal knocks out both of these punks, goes thru their pockets, and is delighted to find a business card giving John Carver's private business address, in the Benson Building. Sarah is astonished at Fatal's feat of fighting fortitude, but Fatal just waves off the compliments then quickly leaves, promising to send Officer Clancy around for the unconscious hoodlums.
An hour later he's on the 10th floor of the Benson Building, and using his little old granny charm to dupe a building custodian into handing him some envelopes from the trash, from one of which he learns John Carver's home address. This is something he's been seeking for eight years.
That evening at Carver's mansion, as his chauffeured limosine pulls out, Madam Fatal fakes an accidental injury; Carver foolishly instructs his driver to lift the old lady into the car, and then into the house. After the chauffeur leaves, Stanton confronts Carver, recaps his personal history, and accuses him of kidnapping Stanton's baby daughter, when she was two years old. He's been dogging Carver's trail, using his old lady disguise, ever since. Carver tries to punch and shoot his way out of this tight spot, but Madame Fatal snatches a rug out from under him just as he's unholstering his gun, and he ends up shooting himself. Before he dies, Carver confirms that the daughter is still alive, but that's all he has time to say. Madam Fatal leaves via a window, returns home, and thinks things over. Now that he's had his revenge, it's still not enough. He will continue to fight crime and lawlessness, as Madam Fatal, for as long as he is able, and will also never stop searching for his lost daughter.
Appearing in The Black Condor: "The Man Who Can Fly Like a Bird"
- Black Condor (First appearance) (Origin)
- Gali Kan (Dies)
- Yakki Raiders
- Mr. Richard Grey (Dies)
- Mrs. Richard Grey (Dies)
- Father Pierre (Dies)
Synopsis for The Black Condor: "The Man Who Can Fly Like a Bird"
An archaeologist and his family trek to outer Mongolia, and are ambushed by raiders. Realizing their plight to be hopeless, the mother hides her baby behind some rocks. The raiders savagely massacre everyone, yet unnoticed, a giant condor swoops and gathers the child, and brings it to its nest. The child grows to be a boy, and studies the movement of wings, body motion, air currents, balance, and levitation. One day, the condors are attacked by a tribe of eagles. The flying man falls in combat and is found by Father Pierre, a hermit, who teaches the young man the ways of Man, dubbing him the Black Condor. After one year with Pierre, the Black Condor discovers the hermit murdered by the raiders of Gali Kan.
Putting his skills to use, the Black Condor hunts, attacks, and defeats the raiders, just as they are attacking a small walled city, full of Hindu-looking, Allah-invoking people, in a mountainous part of South Asia. Condor snatches Gali Kan right out of his saddle and flies him up to some scary altitude then drops him; his condors attack the raiders, encouraging the locals to a more vigorous defense, and ending the reign of terror.
- Alias the Spider:
- According to the Spider, the Cricket Mob has been active before, and have now reorganized for a second reign of terror.
- Spider body count = (2 or more in the first crashed sedan), plus (2 or more in the second crashed sedan), plus (the Cricket) himself, so > 5.
- Black Condor:
- The Black Condor's costume was colored red, for this issue only.
- The Black Condor's South Asian despot-warlord villain this issue is Gali Kan, raiding and looting. Next issue, his next South Asian despot-warlord villain will be Ali Kan, attempting to usurp a principality adjoining his own.
- The Clock Strikes:
- Last seen in Feature Comics #31 (April 1940), The Clock has now moved to Crack Comics.
- The city in which The Clock operates, which is identified in Crack Comics #8 as New York, has been very unfortunate in its selection of mayors and other top municipal officials. This issue Mayor Kozer is exposed as secretly a crime boss; earlier in Feature Comics #22 (July 1939) it was Mayor Tull who murdered District Attorney Ted Downs. And of course back in Feature Funnies #14 (Nov 1938), Mayor Willis got murdered by Police Commissioner Litz.
- Red Torpedo:
- Red Torpedo’s original base: “a secret workshop on a remote cove”.
- Red Torpedo body count = two submarine crews.
- Hitler isn’t named in this story, but the main bad guy works in “the Chancellery of a ruthless power…”, and he looks just like Hitler.
- "Origin of Madam Fatal" is reprinted in The Quality Companion (TwoMorrows Publishing, 2011).
- According to a clipping that he carries around with him, Richard Stanton's final stage performance was May 1st, 1930, portraying an old woman.
- Newspaper Reprints:
- This issue of Crack Comics also featured:
- No trivia.
- Write your own review of this comic!
- Discuss Crack Comics Vol 1 1 on the forums
- Cover gallery for the Crack Comics series
- Images from Crack Comics Vol 1 1
Links and References
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